There are many reasons to visit Broadway Tower – here are 6 of them!
It’s now quite expensive to visit Broadway Tower, but we still love this little ‘castle’ on the hill!
The scenery is just breath-taking, the walking is fantastic. And, if you stick to the public footpaths, you can enjoy much of Broadway Tower’s beauty for free.
You can also visit Broadway Tower as part of our Go Cotswolds Cotswolds Walks & Villages tour. On this tour, you’ll enjoy three beautiful countryside walks, Broadway Tower and the Cotswold villages of Broadway and Burford.
1. Visit Broadway Tower for fascinating history
It might look like an ancient castle, but when you visit Broadway Tower, you’ll find it’s not! In fact, Broadway Tower is a relatively modern 18th Century folly, which means it serves no real purpose at all!
Lady Coventry, wife of the 6th Earl of Coventry, wanted to know if a burning beacon could be seen on the hill 22 miles away from her estate in Worcester. The famous landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was employed to find out – thus, architect James Wyatt was commissioned to construct the folly in 1798. (In case you’re wondering, yes, a beacon could be see quite clearly!)
Over the years, Broadway Tower has served as an artist’s retreat, particularly for members of the Arts & Crafts movement. Today, Broadway Tower houses a museum paying tribute to this history.
Visit Broadway Tower country park and you’ll also find a memorial to the crew of an RAF bomber plane, which crashed here in 1943. Not to mention a nuclear bunker, which was used during the Cold War.
2. Local wildlife
In the 1980s, the current owners of Broadway Tower established a herd of red deer in the grounds of the country park. The herd comprises William, an impressive stag (named after William Morris, an Arts & Crafts designer who stayed at Broadway Tower), and his hinds and offspring. They can often be seen in an enclosure near the Tower itself.
As well as the deer, you’ll find when you visit Broadway Tower Country Park that it’s a wonderful place to wander and observe sheep, birds, squirrels, and many species of tree and wildflowers.
3. Amazing views
Even if you do nothing else when you visit Broadway Tower, you won’t feel disappointed by gawping at the stunning views. As the second highest point in the Cotswolds, on a clear day, you can see up to 16 English and Welsh counties – it really is amazing!
To get an edge on the panoramic views available at ground level, you can climb to the viewing platform at the top of the Tower if you wish.
4. Great coffee and shopping
In more recent years, Broadway Tower Country Park has become not just a place to walk and enjoy nature, but a lifestyle destination too.
At the Morris & Brown cafe and shop you can grab a coffee or light lunch, as well as shop for local Cotswold souvenirs. Down the path to The Tower Barn, you can indulge in a delicious lunch, visit the espresso bar, and shop for quality clothing and homewares. On weekends and bank holidays, The Shepherd’s Hut opens for quick takeaway coffee and snacks, ideal for walkers.
Which brings us to…
5. Beautiful walks
As well as Broadway Tower’s own marked circular walk, Broadway Tower lies along The Cotswold Way. This is a national public walking trail which covers 102 miles from Chipping Campden all the way down to Bath.
Although day visitors to the Tower pay an admission fee for parking and entrance to the Tower itself, those just passing through on the Cotswold Way can do so at no charge (though you’re encouraged to stick to the public footpath).
A lovely way to approach the Tower is to do so from Fish Hill. This scenic picnic spot, with parking area and information boards, is located around 1 mile from the Tower. Follow the path, along part of The Cotswold Way, to arrive at Broadway Tower on foot. There are wonderful countryside views of native woodland, rolling hills and sheep pasture and a fantastic perspective on the Tower.
6. Visit Broadway Tower with Go Cotswolds
We love the views at Broadway Tower, which is why we visit it on our Cotswolds Walks & Villages tours! Between May and September, join us for a guided walking tour with a difference.
On our tours, you won’t just drive around, spotting things out of the window. We also won’t march you along a single footpath for hours on end. Instead, this tour gives you the opportunity to explore several paths and villages in the Cotswolds in one day. As part of a small group of up to 17 people (including your friendly local guide), you’ll walk the route described above from Fish Hill to visit Broadway Tower.
After some free time at the Tower, you have two options. First, you can walk back to the minibus with your guide and drive to Broadway village. Second, you can take the Cotswold Way trail and head to Broadway on foot.
In Broadway, you’ll have free time to explore and have lunch. Then, we’ll get in the minibus and drive to the start point of our longest walk of the day. Pulling up in the pretty village of Asthall, your Go Cotswolds guide will lead you on a figure-of-eight route through the gorgeous Windrush Valley. On this 2.6 km / 3 mile walk, you’ll pass through wildflower meadows and the quiet villages of Swinbrook and Widford to discover some surprising history, and a side of the Cotswolds that most tourists miss!
Go Cotswolds Walks & Villages tour on YouTube!
Thanks to the lovely Anila from Scottish-Pakistani travel bloggers Scotistani, check out this fabulous video, which shows you the first part of our Cotswolds Walks & Villages tour – including the visit the Broadway Tower!
Ready to book your Cotswolds Walks & Villages tour? Click here!
Want more villages and less walking? Try our ‘Cotswolds in a Day tour’ instead.